September 18, 2012
As The Ball Bounces: Week 2
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
He ended his career in New England, but became the third descendant in a line of great kickers. From 1947 to 1981, the Cleveland Browns had two kickers, Lou Groza and Don Cockroft. When Cockroft retired in 1980, Matt Bahr took over as Browns kicker (actually, he took over for someone named Dave Jacobs, but he doesn't count as Bahr would stick in Cleveland through 1989). He had a brother, Chris, who was also a great kicker in his own right. Bill Parcells eventually brought Bahr to New England to keep that job warm for Adam Vinatieri. Bahr lines up and booms one out of the end zone, something that didn't happen late in the Patriot loss to Arizona on Sunday.
New Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano is being excoriated by everyone, and not only Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, for ambushing the Giants on the final victory formation. The "unwritten rule" was broken. Sounds like baseball.
Collegiate it may have been, why fault Schiano for kicking a little tail on the final victory formation? Anything to fire those boys up.
But it was dangerous. And his boys could pay a price for it. Don't do it anymore, Greg.
Was it a good thing that Baltimore lost to Philadelphia going into its grudge game next week against the Patriots?
Watch out when you guys go to Soldier Field, Packers. The opposite might just happen.
It would be too bad if it were proven that the only reason the Saints won their Super Bowl was because of those bounties.
Sam Bradford versus Robert Griffin III. The NFC title game matchup in 3-4 years?
The last time the Cardinals beat New England, Dick MacPherson was the head coach, Hugh Millen was the leading quarterback, and the kicker was someone named Jason Staurovsky.
Oh, and the quarterback for the Cardinals in that 24-10 win? Think on it for a bit before you check out the answer below. Hint: He was a future Patriot punter.
Never mind that the Phoenix (as they were called in 1991) punter was ex-Patriot Rich Camarillo.
Geek of the week: Mike Shanahan was seething in his postgame press conference. He was partly ticked at the officials. But he was furious with Josh Morgan, who threw a football at Cortland Finnegan and drew a personal foul which helped his team lose the game in the closing seconds. It ruined the great Bradford-Griffin quarterback duel. Some guys really need to grow up before they learn to play this man's game.
The battle of Ohio is always compelling, no matter how good or bad the Browns and Bengals are.
And as we have said numerous times down and through the years, it is deeply personal for both teams, especially Cincinnati. Paul's son Mike Brown is still there, not that that is always a good thing, but he's someone who knows all about why.
Much as you would like to think so, the Patriots did not lose because of the injury to Aaron Hernandez.
Meanwhile, if you have Wes Welker on your fantasy team, call someone in the Patriot front office and tell them to wise up and use the guy.
Okay, the Jets have lost one game, and Tim Tebow busted a long gainer up the middle. Let the fun and games begin.
Before we anoint Bradford and RG III as the next Simms versus Montana, hold on and see what that young fella down in Carolina has really got.
Julius Peppers still has some kind of motor after all these years.
Jim Schwartz had to burn a challenge against San Francisco in order to change a 12-yard sack back to a 6-yard sack. He won the challenge, but he never should have had to use it. Let the booth folks buzz down and fix it. Do it the college way.
Back to school: As an FBS team, UMass goes into Michigan and loses by only 5. As an FCS team, they go into Michigan and lose by 50. Either Brady Hoke is really good, Rich Rodriguez was really bad, or the personnel turnover in Amherst was really something.
Back to school Jr.: Michigan dropped 63 on UMass. Fresno State dropped 69 on Colorado (and would have had 70 if they hadn't had an extra point blocked). May their basketball teams be so offensively prolific when their seasons begin.
Quick. Name one of the Arizona Cardinal defensive starters.
Remember when Kansas City and Oakland was the centerpiece matchup of the old AFL?
Now it seems a shame they have to play each other not once, but twice a year.
The Lions still cannot win big games, but at least they are no longer a turkey on Turkey Day.
Please don't tell Stephen Gostkowski that, about at the same time he missed his 42-yard field goal which would have won the game, out in Indianapolis, this guy named Adam Vinatieri nailed a 53-yarder with 8 seconds left to win the game for the Colts over the Vikings.
So not fair, yes. But it happened.
More and more adverse comments are trickling in regarding these replacement officials. Not enough yet to get a deal done, but enough to keep Mike Pereira busy on Fox Sports with his commentary.
It's time to get the real officials back. The NFL has to be concerned more than just a little about the quality of its product.
News item: Norv Turner is 2-0 for the first time in his coaching career. Shocker? Not at all.
This isn't my factoid, but it's a beauty: If the Patriots lose next Sunday night, they will be below .500 for the first time since 2002.
Beauty? The factoid, not the 1-2 record, folks.
Remember him: For those of you who miss the voice of Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football, one of his more memorable moments was his seeming adulation for this old Cleveland Browns defensive lineman from the 1970s named Joe Jones. Jones, whose nickname was "Turkey", played two stints for Cleveland in the 70s, and also did time with Washington and Philadelphia over an 11-year career. Cosell loved calling his name: "And another play made by Cleveland's JOE…JONES!" Cosell would emphasize both names and put a pregnant pause between the first name and the surname. And he would always call him by both names, not just "Jones". Patriot fans got a good dose of that in a 1977 Monday night matchup, a 30-27 overtime loss to the Browns. Jones helped hold Steve Grogan and the Patriots to only 263 total yards on the evening before Cockroft ended the affair with a 35-yard walkoff FG. Jones never made any Pro Bowls. But Cosell loved him anyway.
Yikes. Peyton Manning almost pulled out another one. Three first quarter picks, and his team was almost in position to win the game in the closing minutes.
Shame on Atlanta for almost blowing that game.
Answer: Tom Tupa.
Here's a good project for Patriot Nation this week: Empty out your DVD library and play everything you have on the Patriots produced by NFL Films.
And pause for a second to remember Steve Sabol, the maker of your wonderful memories, who passed away on Tuesday of a brain tumor at age 69. The NFL refers to him as its "storyteller", and that's putting it lightly.
His dad was honored this summer in Canton, with Steve presenting him. Ed Sabol was too ill to stand up. How strange it is in that he winds up outliving his son.
The body of work of the Sabols will outlive a lot of people. The NFL is what it is thanks to father and son.
What we wouldn't give to see a Steve Sabol feature on wherever he is right now.
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